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Science & Health

Fitness Friday: Dealing with Exercise Guilt

Being an active person is really great for your health. There are many articles floating around on the internet about how to get yourself to the gym, what workouts to do, ways to motivate yourself and more. And those are all really great suggestions.

But what about when it becomes too much? Maybe you’re sick and have a midterm later this week. Maybe you missed your workout that morning, or the only time you can go to the gym is when your friends are getting dinner. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep the night before and take a nap instead of getting your sweat session in.

So you skipped a workout, but now you feel guilty about it. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty:

  • Life should always come first. You shouldn’t be missing out on important, fun things that will make you a happier person just to work out. Family and friends should be the priority, and if that means missing a workout, so be it. There’s always tomorrow.
  • Rest days give your body time to repair and recover. You don’t get stronger while you are lifting weights; you get stronger when your muscles are repairing themselves while you sleep. When you’re really sore, giving yourself a day or two off is actually smarter than trying to hit up the gym and risking injury.
  • Taking a day off usually makes your workout the next day even better.
  • Sleep is so incredibly important! Without enough sleep, your brain won’t function properly, your body can’t fully recover from the day, and overall it’s just not that great for your health. So if you’re tired, use the time you would’ve gone to the gym to take a nap instead.
  • Your body is really smart. It knows when it needs a break, so if the thought of even doing part of a workout exhausts you, taking a day off is probably a good idea.

Overall, the main point is: Cut yourself some slack. Missing one workout is not going to kill you; chances are it’s probably good for you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be active. The point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty for missing one day out of 365 days a year.

How do you deal with exercise guilt? Tweet us @dbmojo or comment below.

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